Reputedly the first UK handset to offer video playback, Java and Bluetooth connection over a Quad Band, this is the Motorola v600. Quad Band supports complete worldwide roaming on one handset, from a standard Li-Ion 750 battery, giving up to 450 mins talk time, and 240 hours in standby. The Bluetooth connection is a welcome addition- that, plus the video playback and Quad Band distinguishes the v600 from the more lowly, but great all round, v300.



The style of the exterior harks back to the v331- the grey/black/chrome more suitable for the suit pocket than the bright blue of the v300. As with the v331, size is kept to a minimum (88.1 x 47.6 x 23.6) with a stubby external aerial. The SIM card has been shifted from the top piece back to the traditional spot under the battery, creating space for the integrated digital camera and viewfinder. A snazzy dual line inverse image display (93 x 32) on exterior shows operator logo, time, battery, Bluetooth and message status. The front and back metal covers are both interchangeable- a direct opposite to the v331, where only the central black plastic tooth could be removed. Also worth a mention is the situational light surrounding the circular Motorola logo. This is a USP of the phone- it looks sharp, flashing rings blinking in a range of colours allow identification of calls from caller groups. That's just an aesthetic detail, but a worthy addition nonetheless.

Flip open the sturdy hinge and you'll see the regular 65k (176 x 220) TFT screen with the same nav-key/ programmable hot-key set up as the other Motos in the series. The navigation still leaves a lot to be desired, but there is plenty of scope for personalisation, not just through picture, download and tone assignment/ composition, but in re-jigging the menus themselves. One big problem here is the number of clicks required to send even a basic SMS message. The predictive text is more comprehensive than the Nokia and Samsung equivalents but not as simple to use.

Call management on the v600 is top spec. Store up to 1000 entries on the phone book and profile 100 with icon and ringtones. Picture profile entries up to a max of 100KB. All the usual trimmings- vibration alert, polyphonic tones (22 embedded with more to download and mix, although we don't recommend it) and even 3 MP3 ringtones. They don't sound much better than the polyphonics, but the sound on the integrated speakerphone is excellent.

On the whole, the video is pretty drab- the viewing window for video playback is tiny. Without video calling, it's a bit of a misnomer, but if you're looking for them, MPEG4 video and sound files can be downloaded via the GRPS, or sent via MMS. Stuntman and Bejewelled are the free games- plenty more to download- and are supported by Java, as is the norm these days. The camera is as to be expected- 4 times zoom- but even with the timer, it's hard to capture a good self-portrait from the fixed mounting.

Verdict

With a few cosmetics aside, the key features to the v600 are the Quad Band and Bluetooth. If you need a worldwide phone that won't weigh you down, you can't go wrong with this. A huge phonebook capacity, Bluetooth, and the Quad Band makes this one of the best on the market, short of going 3G or PDA. The v600 is a small, tough phone with plenty of power. If you need flashing lights and mixable sounds, it's got plenty of them too.